Poetic Words: The Adirondacks

Can’t resist one more shot from our Adirondack weekend:

Blue Mountain Lake, Labor Day weekend 2014.
Blue Mountain Lake, Labor Day weekend 2014.

Adirondacks: Late Summer 1948

The spruce are dense above the lake.
A thick, gray driftwood, sharp and bent,
Margins the shore with heavy lines.
The overhanging aspens shake
Their dry, deciduous sediment
Into the cool, reflected pines.

There is a limit here of tree
And water: form has gained its end,
Lost in the continual reflection.
Through shade the glossy visions flee
And in a darker calm distend
Downward in shadowy perfection.

Across the lake at evening, wild
And distant, like unhallowed ghosts,
The loons converse. Rotten and dank,
The logs jut rudely: split and piled
They slant into the dusk like posts
Unearthed and cast against the bank.

W. Wesley Trimpi

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Commonplace Book: E.B. White

Back from a Labor Day weekend in the Adirondacks (highly recommended, particularly including a little time on the water, and the Adirondack Museum).  A selection from lots of photos I took, including–that deep blue one–the view from the porch of our lodge looking out onto Blue Mountain Lake on a late summer evening.

To complete it, a bit from E.B. White’s 1941 essay, “Once More to the Lake.” He was talking about Maine, but the spirit is the same. 

 

Summertime, oh summertime, pattern of life indelible, the fade-proof lake, the woods unshatterable, the pasture with the sweetfern and the juniper forever and ever, summer without end; this was the background, and the life along the shore was the design, the cottages with their innocent and tranquil design, their tiny docks with the flagpole and the American flag floating against the white clouds in the blue sky, the little paths over the roots of the trees leading from camp to camp and the paths leading back to the outhouses and the can of lime for sprinkling, and at the souvenir counters at the store the miniature birch-bark canoes and the post cards that showed things looking a little better than they looked. This was the American family at play, escaping the city heat, wondering whether the newcomers at the camp at the head of the cove were “common” or “nice,” wondering whether it was true that the people who drove up for Sunday dinner at the farmhouse were turned away because there wasn’t enough chicken.

Perhaps he seems a bit-old fashioned, even Norman Rockwell-esque now, but it’s hard to overestimate what an influence White’s prose had over Americans who tried to write a sentence in English in my generation.  He’s still a lodestone to me.